Rachel Wang (far right) with fellow GCSP full scholarship recipients, Provost Thomas Burish, and Jonathan Noble, Assistant Provost for Internationalization
Since its inception in 2011, the Greater China Scholars Program has advanced Notre Dame’s goal to internationalize the campus by recruiting not just the brightest from the region, but also students with capacity for global leadership and commitment to the betterment of society. Through this initiative, the University identifies and supports high-achieving students who will most benefit from the Notre Dame undergraduate experience.
One such example is Rachel Qingling Wang, a Beijing native and the 2012 Li Ka Shing Foundation’s full scholarship recipient. A political science major set to graduate this spring with acceptance to Harvard Law, Wang claims choosing Notre Dame is one of the best decisions she has made in her life—and has had the most formative and inspiring results.
“My transition to the United States was not easy, but Notre Dame has supported me throughout this life-forming experience and prepared me to go on and accomplish further goals in life,” Wang said.
Wang’s accomplishments are nothing short of remarkable: she secured a full scholarship to participate in Tel Aviv University’s summer program in business and politics; she was sponsored to travel to Canada and China for international business case competitions; she studied abroad at Oriel College at the University of Oxford as a politics exchange student; and she has been admitted to Harvard Law to study transnational policy making, though she may defer for a year to pursue an internship opportunity in Dubai.
Rachel Wang (far left) with friends in Jerusalem
Wang said being part of the GCS program has helped her overcome the initial language and cultural barriers her freshman year. Since she had met the GCSP cohort during selection weekend prior to arriving campus, she found strength to face her new challenges, including the mild alienation she felt as a foreigner. Wang was also encouraged by GCSP’s close contact with alumni and the University administration.
“I feel like I am a part of a community,” Wang said.
Looking back, Wang found a new appreciation and deeper understanding of the three criteria of the Greater China Scholars Program: exceptional academic achievement, a strong commitment to the betterment of society, and a promising capacity for global leadership.
“At Notre Dame, students are trained to excel in their professional fields, are taught to work in their professions for the greater good of the community, and, finally, are educated to become capable of leading others to do the same, whether it is in the context of a school, a country, or the wider international arena,” said Rachel.
The Greater China Scholars Program is made possible by contributions from Notre Dame students, alumni, and parents. The Li Ka Shing Foundation provides annual support for one full, merit-based scholarship. The program has already committed more than $1.9 million in support of 22 students and its full scholarship awardee, Huili Chen, has been accepted to MIT for a graduate program in robotics.